The Cranbrook Bucks spent this past weekend on a tough road trip that saw them play three games in four days — and in two countries.
The Bucks travelled south of the border to play the Wenatchee Wild on Thursday and Friday, before travelling to West Kelowna to face the Warriors on Sunday.
The gritty three-game trip presented ample opportunity for Cranbrook’s players to make their case for the three stars of the week, so here’s the best of the best.
First Star — Johnny Johnson
Assistant Captain and now 21-year-old forward Johnny Johnson truly led by example on the Bucks recent road trip.
In addition to contributing a goal and three assists on the trip, Johnson continued to play the type of game you would expect from a team leader.
His strong weekend started when he got the primary assist on Cranbrook’s second goal of Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Wenatchee.
As an encore, Johnson again picked up the primary assist on the Bucks second goal of Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Wild.
Then on Sunday, Johnson picked up the lone assist on Cranbrook’s first goal of the game, before capping his weekend off by scoring the game-winning goal in Sunday’s 5-3 win against West Kelowna.
Second Star — Tyson Dyck
The Bucks leader in all offensive categories, Tyson Dyck continued to lead the way over the weekend with three goals and two assists for five points in three games.
Dyck picked up an assist on Thursday and a goal on Friday in Wenatchee, before a big two-goal, one assist performance on Sunday in West Kelowna.
All three of his goals over the weekend came when needed most, as they were all game-tying goals.
Third Star — Liam Hansson
The third member of the Bucks new top line, Liam Hansson also had a strong showing over the past three games, contributing a goal and three assists.
Hansson also showed his experience, as alongside his line-mate Johnson, the 20-year-old led by example for the relatively young Bucks team.
Just like Johnson and Dyck, Hansson is on a four-game point streak since Cranbrook was shutout by Prince George back on Jan. 8.
Unsung hero of the week
It is rare for contributions by defensemen to stand out unless it’s by producing in the box score, but Rhys Bentham’s hard work over the last three games did not go unnoticed.
The Bucks captain continued to display an unmatched work ethic, while doing everything he could to help his team find wins.
Bentham is this week’s unsung hero for his contributions that you won’t see on the game sheet.
Here are a few other noteworthy performances from the road trip over the weekend.
Forward Kellan Hjartarson picked up a point in each game of the trip, with a goal and two assists in the three games.
Hjartarson seems to have found his offensive touch again, as he is the fourth member of the Bucks to be riding a four-game point streak.
Playing with Hjartarson on the Bucks second line, forward Noah Quinn had himself a nice weekend as well.
Quinn scored Cranbrook’s first goal of the weekend on Thursday in Wenatchee, and the last one into an empty net on Sunday against West Kelowna.
In addition to book-ending the Bucks scoring, Quinn was a force and a driver of offence all weekend long.
Defenseman Cole Assailly also had himself a strong three-game set, which culminated in a two-assist performance on Sunday.
Assailly was noticeable in both games against Wenatchee before playing a key role in the comeback win against the Warriors.
The Bucks are back in action on home ice this upcoming Friday and Saturday when they host the top team in the league, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.